Google uncovered Russia-backed ads on YouTube, Gmail


Google's internal investigation found $4,700 of search ads and display ads that the company believes are Russian-connected, and found $53,000 of ads with political content that were purchased from Russian internet providers, building addresses or with Russian currency, people familiar with the investigation said. The social media giant, along with Twitter and Alphabet (Google), has been invited to testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees about Russian efforts to impact the election using social media on November 1.

Federal, congressional and private investigators are all looking into the extent of Russian efforts to influence U.S. media prior to the United States elections; a common thread is that Russians with alleged Kremlin ties sought to spread misinformation and confusion with the goal of promoting division and President Donald Trump's candidacy. The company has already provided the information of 3000 ads purchased from Russian fake accounts, for which more than $100,000 was spent by the Russian agency to Congress. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, paying $1 billion in cash and stock.

While Conaway and Schiff had previously expressed a desire to release the ads, Senate intelligence committee chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina said he did not want his committee to do so, arguing that any documents turned over to the committee were sensitive and should not be made public. Both lawmakers and Facebook representatives have said that the apparent goal of the ads was to amplify political discord by exploiting tensions over hot-button political issues like race, immigration and gun rights.

Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

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The meeting with Reps. On Wednesday, she also met with other top Democratic and Republican lawmakers - including a session with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and another meeting with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Schiff said Sandberg wanted to calm members of Congress, who were initially concerned that the company was reluctant to share information and to ensure that foreign governments don't wage information campaigns in USA elections.

The group will focus its dialogue with Sandberg on Facebook's "diversity tone-deafness", including why the company has no black members of its board of directors, why Facebook allowed communities of to be targeted with its advertising products and who is being held accountable to make sure that such ads don't appear on Facebook in the future.

"You and I as voters are responsible for where we get information and how we trust it, and whether we trust it", Conaway said. Google is continuing to examine its own records and also is sharing data with Facebook. It announced that numerous ads did not violate its policies.